Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Paramedic problems"/ "From needing a transplant to campaigning for others"

Feb. 21, 2017 "Paramedic problems": Today I found this article by Joe O' Connor in the National Post in the Edmonton Journal. 

I know the job of being a paramedic is hard.  I would be freaking out and adrenaline is rushing.  I have to save this person's life stat.  I don't have the mental and emotional personality for this.  Medicine is hard:

Jennie Cubitt is on vacation this week near Corpus Christi, Texas, which is a good thing, after the week she had at work recently where, among other highlights, she came in contact with a house full of drunken monks somewhere north of Brockville, Ont. The meeting was intentional: Cubitt is a paramedic in rural Ontario. The monks dialed 911 after one of their brethren split his head. He required stitches, which was fine, until he informed Cubitt and her student/partner that he couldn’t go to the hospital without his vast book collection and then tried, unsuccessfully, to urinate on them.

“As soon as we got him in the ambulance he decided we were the devil,” Cubitt says, laughing. “He refused to speak to us in English and started yelling profanities in Russian.”
The drunken monk was more or less non-violent, but not every patient is. Cubitt has been kicked, punched and bitten on the job. She has suffered black eyes — she refers to them as enduring eye “makeup” — split lips and had her private parts grabbed, more than once, including by a man she was administering oxygen to.

“I find that the worst cases of abuse don’t leave a wound,” she says. “It is the sexual assaults that are the most frustrating because it is often not brought on by people in an altered mental state, such as dementia, but by people who are disgusting.

“Most often drunks, who don’t believe women should be in uniform and don’t respect them in the field.”

Cubitt’s brush with the monk inspired her latest post on Figure 1, a popular social media platform for health-care workers. Doctors, nurses and paramedics worldwide compare cases on the website, suggesting treatments, outcomes and best care practices. In this forum, Cubitt is an international star known to her followers as Paramedic Jennie. Her most recent post featured a picture of herself sporting a black eye — not from the monk but from a previous on-the-job encounter in Leeds and Grenville counties — and a question to her colleagues: “Has this happened to you?”

The answer? Overwhelming yes, if you are a paramedic. A survey of more than 1,300 paramedics from Ontario and Nova Scotia in 2011 found that 26.1 per cent had been physically assaulted in the previous 12 months. Almost 70 per cent reported being verbally abused; more than 40 per cent cited physical intimidation, while 2.7 per cent reported being sexually assaulted.

A 2016 study out of Drexel University in Philadelphia found that paramedics were more than 12 times more likely to be injured by a patient than a firefighter, and that gender was “not a meaningful predictor of patient-initiated violence.” In other words, patients will punch a female paramedic just as readily as they will punch a male.

“Women have an easier time than men, in some cases,” Cubitt says, because, for whatever reason, their presence can produce a calming effect in potentially hostile situations. By law, paramedics cannot fight back. Like any citizen, they can defend themselves, but they can also be charged with assault for touching someone who doesn’t wish to be touched. (There is greater latitude around self-preservation in the back of an ambulance: patients can be restrained by blankets or seat belts. Cubitt, 30, says the most common technique is to sit on an aggressor until the vehicle stops and then exit and wait for police.) She stresses that violence against paramedics is grossly under-reported and merely accepted as part of the job.

“It needs to be addressed,” Cubitt says.

Increasing reports of violence involving paramedics in Australia convinced one jurisdiction to experiment with body cameras. Cubitt is reluctant to embrace the idea here, fearing cameras could breach patient confidentiality and be used against paramedics who might be doing their best for a patient in a situation but not doing it by the book.

What might sound like a nightmare job really isn’t for Cubitt.

“I don’t get too bothered by stuff,” she says, laughing.

Indeed. She decompresses over a beer with her partner after a tough day, and then it is back out on the road.

“I see people on their worst day,” Cubitt says. “Even if it isn’t something we’d consider an emergency — it is that person’s emergency — and if we can make that day even a little better, that’s the high of doing this.”

Feb. 17, 2017 "From needing a transplant to campaigning for others": Today I found this article by Wency Leung in the Globe and Mail:

Eugene Melnyk’s life was saved when he received a partial liver transplant in May, 2015, from an anonymous living donor. Now, the owner of the Ottawa Senators is hoping to help others.

On Wednesday, Melnyk announced the launch of the Organ Project, which aims to shorten the waiting list for patients requiring an organ transplant. One of its first steps is to encourage people to register as donors.

A primary obstacle to getting more people to register is “just getting the word out,” Melnyk said. “It’s two minutes out of your whole life. Just sit down [to register] and you will do the greatest things for people like me, who have sat in that line for months, not knowing if I’m going to be living or dying. It makes all the difference,” he said, noting he now feels “150,000 per cent better.”

About 4,600 Canadians are currently waiting for an organ transplant, according to the Canadian Blood Services.

While some opinion polls have shown 90 per cent of Canadians support organ donation, less than 20 per cent actually take steps to become donors.

To tackle the immediate problem of not enough donors, the Organ Project is starting out with an awareness campaign, which will include social media, billboards and commercials produced pro bono by top creative artists, Melnyk said. He said he also hopes to rely on the hockey community to help spread the word. And the foundation is hosting a fundraising gala in Toronto next month.

As a non-government charity, Melnyk said, the Organ Project can be more aggressive in its advertising and promotion. “We can use every type of angle that brand managers use in promoting their products.”

The Organ Project is working with various transplant agencies to identify practical solutions that would make the donorregistration process easier, said Laryssa Waler Hetmanczuk, the communications lead for the charity. Measures such as an opt-out system, whereby consent is presumed, have generated great interest, she said, but such a system would need to be fleshed out and examined further to see if it would work in Canada.

“If we can help identify ways to streamline the registration process, we think that would be beneficial,” she said.

The project is also interested in advances in transplant technologies, including organ preservation techniques, Waler Hetmanczuk said. This may involve funding research, she added.

In Melnyk’s case, a donor was found after a public appeal was made on his behalf at a news conference and through his hockey team’s social-media accounts. More than 2,000 people responded to the call to donate part of their livers. Although only a fraction were screened as potential donors, Melnyk said many of the 20 individuals who were identified as a possible match agreed to stay on as potential donors for others on the list and ended up saving “quite a few” lives.

Those involved in the Organ Project have not yet discussed whether it would make public appeals on behalf of individuals, but they have talked about helping patients with their own advocacy efforts, Waler Hetmanczuk said. “It’s not something we’re doing right now.”

While the initial phase will focus on deceased donors, the next phase will encourage people to consider live donations, Melnyk said.

“It’s got to be the most rewarding experience possible,” he said. “It’s the ultimate gift.”

My week:

Mar. 7, 2017 Situation Beer Pub: I was looking for a job and I found this website for this pub.  The graphic was so cool with beer bubbles coming up.

Mar. 8, 2017 Care For A Ride Inc.: I was looking for a job and I found this company:

Our services are designed to help the seniors in our community get to where they need to go.  Our goal is to make sure their experience is safe, helpful and reliable every single time they are in our care.  Some of our clients use our services regularly, others use us to fill in when their own resources are not available.  Whatever the reason, we are there to help!

We know that caring for our seniors is much more than just helping out, it’s about a special partnership in which each individual feels cared for and loved.  Care for a Ride is committed to helping our community seniors.  We always go the extra mile to help them with all the little things during their outing ... things that make a difference in their lives.

My opinion: That is a meaningful career.  However, I find the ETS buses to be pretty good.  There are also small buses specifically for people who are disabled.  I find taxis to be pretty accommodating. 

ETS bus drivers: I was talking to a taxi driver a couple of weeks ago.  He said he was going to be an ETS bus driver.  When he is training, he gets paid $22/hr.  When he gets hired, he gets paid $27/hr.

Job interview #1: I did a job interview at an Asian restaurant on Mon.


1. It was easy to get to.  There are 2 buses, but they come by frequently.

2. It was daytime and the hrs can be flexible from 5-6hrs.

3. I think I can do the job.

4. It's a sit- down restaurant where you get tips.


1. This is a new restaurant and it hasn't opened yet.  I have heard 80% of restaurants close down within the 1st 2 yrs.

My opinion: If I get hired, I will work there.  The 2 Asian men/ bosses were like in their 40s and 50s.  They seem nice.

Job interview #2: I did another job interview at another Asian restaurant on Mon.


1. It was easy to get to.  Only 1 bus.

2. It was day-time.

3. I think I can do the job.

4. It's a sit- down restaurant where you get tips.


1. The guy who interviewed me told me the owner and cooks don't speak English very well.  I don't know how to speak their language. 

2. They were going to renovate and change the menu, so it may be a month or so when they get things ready.  If I were to get hired, it may take awhile.

3. It seems like they would need me to make alcoholic drinks and I don't know how.

4. It seems like I would be the only server and 2 cooks.  It was small.  When I work at my restaurant jobs, there is a team of people I can lean on.

My opinion: There seems to be a low chance I would get hired.  I feel like I'm not a fit for this job.  They are probably looking for someone who can speak the language and know how to make drinks.

Job search complaints: When I look for a job, I complain.

TV production company internship: I wrote about this before.  When I was 18 yrs old, I was upgrading at Centre High.  I dropped off my resume to be an intern at the CBC in City Centre Mall. 

I will give points to the woman at HR who called me and said that the only rule is they only give internships to NAIT TV and Radio students and no one else.  It doesn't matter if you're an honors student and had a part-time job while in school, or that you have a cover letter that shows how much passion and enthusiasm you have to be a TV writer and producer.

To be an intern at CBC, you have to be in the NAIT TV and Radio program.

In 2008, I finished Professional Writing at MacEwan.  Then I sent my resume to be an administrative assistant at CBC.  They never called back.

CKUA radio: I mentioned I talked to them in 2005.  They said it's volunteer and it seems they will let anyone volunteer there.

Internships on TV:

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo: I'm sure a lot of you guys don't remember this kid/ teen TV show.  I found these books based on the TV show.  Then on Sun. afternoons, it was on in 1999.  I was 14 yrs old and watched it on ITV (now Global).  I saw like the last 4th season.  It was a Nickelodean show.

The first seasons had 6 episodes, season 2 and 3 had 7 episodes, and the 4th season had 20 episodes.

"The adventures of an aspiring detective girl who solves crime in her spare time."


1. It starred an Asian woman Irene Ng in the lead.  I remember one time I was watching it and my sister joined me and she noticed that too.

2. I like mysteries.

3. It was a light and fun show about solving mysteries.


1. Now that I'm an adult, I see how unrealistic it was to have a high school student be an intern and assist a detective to solve cases.

The only way a student can intern at police station is if you're in college and you're studying to be a cop or criminology or something like that.

My opinion: However, it was still a fun show for kids and teens to watch and I would still recommend it.  If the lead wasn't an Asian woman, I would still watch it because I like mysteries.

In a Heartbeat: Here's another TV show I watched when I was 15 in 2000:

"Disney Channel series inspired by real life EMT squads staffed by high school students. It follows the adventures of four high school students who volunteer part-time as EMTs so they work towards a medical career. The live-action dramatic series follows the lives of four such teens as they strive to balance the responsibility of saving lives with the everyday, adolescent demands of family, friends and school."


1. Shawn Ashmore was in it.  (Ice Man in the X-Men movies).  I had a crush on him since I saw him on Animorphs when I was 13 in 1998.  He is the first and foremost reason I watched this show.  If he wasn't in it, I would still watch it.

Christopher Ralph (Tobias on Animorphs) and Danso Gordon (Hang Time) were on it.

2. The writing was pretty good and it was fun to watch.


1. I was going to say how unrealistic it is for high school students to be working as EMT, but then again Disney Channel did say it was inspired by real life.

I would have to look into that about what high school.  Where was it?  In the US or Canada?

However, I am not that interested in to find out.

My opinion: It turns out this show lasted one season (21 episodes).  I still recommend kids and teens to watch it.

Law of attraction: I was thinking about The Mysteries of Shelby Woo and how unrealistic it was.  Today I was talking to my co-worker S and she said she is majoring in criminology and she was like doing an internship at a police station.  Also she is Asian.

Mar. 9, 2017 Why didn't you get the job?: I was thinking about how I applied as a CSR to all these banks.  I always get an automatic email that says they found another applicant that was more qualified.  They will send that email to everybody who applied and didn't get hired.

I will never know why I didn't get the job.  I will never know who got the job and why.  It is one of those things in life I will never know.

It's not like I can write in the cover letter and apply to the job with the paragraph saying: "I have applied for this position before and you never interview me.  Why?"

That would be unprofessional and there is a pretty low chance they would email me back with an explanation.

Furniture store: At least with other places I apply to, I can hypothesize an answer.  I applied to this furniture store in 2015 when they were hiring.  They never called.  They probably saw my resume of 5 months at a clothing store and 1 month at an office supply store, and thought that it wasn't enough experience to sell furniture.  That's fine.

Job interview #3: I did another interview at an Asian restaurant.


1. It was easy to get to, like 2 busses that come by frequently.

2. I can work daytime and part-time.


1. It seemed like they were looking for someone with more open availability.

2. They looked like they wanted a server with lots of experience and can handle it all.  There are only 2 servers at lunch and no busser to help.  There would be like 60 customers there.

My opinion: There seems to be a low chance I would get hired.  However, if I did get hired, I would work there.

Restaurant: I saw another Asian restaurant job ad 2 days ago.  I applied there and was told to call.  Today I called and they said they hired someone.  That's fine, it was a little far away.

Mar. 10, 2017 Job interview #4: I went to a job interview at an office.  I have done an interview there before a couple of years ago.


1. It was in downtown and easy to get to.

2. I can do the job.



My opinion: If I get hired, I would work there.

Law of attraction: Today I was watching Arrow episode "Fighting Fire with Fire" and Felicity says: "I totally manifested that."  The word manifested is said a lot in this telesummit "The Truth about Prosperity" that I'm listening to right now when I'm on my job search on the internet:

Mar. 13, 2017 The Vampire Diaries: This show has ended after 8 seasons.  I really liked it.  The series finale and the whole show was very well-written, with good acting, and good characters.  I recommend you all watch it.  It was like highlight of my week.


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